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Sometimes I Miss The Twin Cities

Minnesota State FairI’ve always been a “Fair Guy”. I love the people watching, the vendors hawking their miracle kitchen gadgets: it slices, dices, juliennes (what the hell IS julienne anyway??) And of course I love the food!

The South Dakota State Fair opens in Huron tomorrow (August 30). The State Fair I grew up with in Minneapolis was the Minnesota State Fair, which has grown into the largest in the country, averaging about 150,000 people through the gates every day for ten days, wrapping on Labor Day.

It was a tradition for us to go twice as school always started “the day after the Fair ends”. When I was little, I’d go with my Mom and Grandma and of course, got to see a side of the Fair that I’d ignore as I got older: the buildings that had the blue ribbon winning apple pie, the building that contained the picture of Abraham Lincoln made from wild rice, playing bingo balls in hopes of winning a blender.

But I secretly loved going through the two story grandstand and seeing demonstrations, buying a new pair of moccasins and trying some homemade fudge. We’d spend an hour at the DNR park looking at the bears, coyotes and all the fish in the pond. We’d walk through all the barns, because I always wanted to see the Clydesdales. We’d go through Heritage Village and Mexican Village looking at all the ‘goodies’, take the Sky Ride to the opposite end of the Fair to get our onion rings and the ‘good’ cheese curds from the Food Building. You could sit anywhere on a bench for an hour and just watch a huge cross section of Minnesotans parade by you (including yes, an actual parade through the grounds, complete with marching bands and floats, every day!) before wrapping the day with a cup of fresh, hot Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies while standing at the all you can drink milk stand for a quarter.

I’ve got some great memories from my years at the Fair, so as you head to Huron this weekend (or the Twin Cities) lock away some of those memories, and have a pronto pup and something deep fried on a stick for me. ~Crash

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